Half of tombs ordered demolished in Henan since rebuilt

Updated: 2013-02-20 18:48

By AN BAIJIE (chinadaily.com.cn)

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At least half of the 2 million tombs that a local government in Central China's Henan province ordered demolished last year have been rebuilt.

The government of Zhoukou city of Henan ordered rural residents in March 2012 to move their families' tombs from farmland into cemeteries. The move, which included forced demolition of tombs, was criticized on the Internet. The government claimed its goal was to save farmland.

As of November, about 2.34 million tombs were demolished, from which nearly 30,000 mu (2,000 hectares) of farmland was recovered, the government said in December.

However, more than half of the demolished tombs were rebuilt in the farmlands early this year, after the central government created a regulation saying that civil affairs authorities no longer have the power to order tombs' forced demolition, the China Business View reported.

Ge Hao, a deputy director of the civil affairs bureau of Taikang county in Zhoukou city, told the newspaper that about half of the county's 350,000 forced demolished tombs have been rebuilt.

The Zhoukou city government has not responded to the report as of Feb 20.